MTBE (Methyl t-Butyl Ether) Research at the Oregon Graduate Institute (OGI) [Gasoline Oxygenates] what mtbe merl leap isco iron home
Assessment Analytical Methods Transport and Fate Remediation and Treatment Outside Links

Assessment of the MTBE Problem

Feature Cover

  • Feature/Cover Article in ES&T
    "MTBE: To what extent will past MTBE releases contaminate community water supply wells?". Authors: Richard Johnson (OGI), James Pankow (OGI), David Bender (USGS), Curtis Price (USGS), John Zogorski (USGS). Reference: Environ. Sci. Technol., 2000, In press, Expected 23 March. Abstract and electronic versions: ES&T Hot Articles. More Information:

  • National Assessment of MTBE Occurrence in Drinking Water
    Collobarative Research Project with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) and the U.S. Geological Survey. Institutional Contacts: B. Koch (MWD), J. Zogorski (USGS), and P. Tratnyek (OGI). Sponsor: AWWA Research Foundation. Status: in progress.

  • MTBE: A Case Study in Environmental Chemistry
    Invited Presentation given by J. Pankow (OGI). Gordon Research Conference on Environmental Sciences: Water. New England College, Henniker, NH, 14-19 June 1998.

  • Report of EPA's Blue Ribbon Panel on Oxygenates in Gasoline
    Technical Reviewers: J. Pankow (OGI), R. Johnson (OGI), and J. Zogorski (USGS). More info and copies: at EPA's Official Website.
  • Interagency Assessment of Oxygenated Fuels
    Report by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), June 1997, 177 pp. Contributors include J. Pankow (OGI) and J. Zogorski (USGS). Complete electronic copy as PDF File (4 MB). Alternative versions from EPA (see under "Oxygenated Gasoline, 02-July-97").

  • Symposium on the Environmental Fate and Effects of Gasoline Oxygenates
    213th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, 13-17 April 1997, San Francisco, CA. Organizers: P. Tratnyek (OGI), B. Bauman (API), J. Zogorski (USGS). More info: Symposium Program. Or you can purchase Extended Abstracts from Ruth Hathaway.

  • Human-Health Effects of MTBE: A Literature Survey
    Author: P. Toccalino, January 2003. Report Posted at:

Analytical Methods

  • Direct Aqueous Injection with Gas Chromatograph and Mass Spectrometry (DAI-GC/MS)
    Investigators: C. Church (OGI), P. Tratnyek (OGI), J. Pankow (OGI). Sponsor: USGS, Toxic Substances Hydrology Program. Link: Lots more information at

  • Enhanced Purge & Trap with with Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry (P&T-GC/MS)
    Investigators: Wentai Luo (OGI) and J. Pankow (OGI). Sponsor: USGS, NAWQA Progam.

Transport and Fate

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  • Nonpoint Sources of Groundwater Contamination with MTBE
    Title: "The urban atmosphere as a non-point source for the transport of MTBE and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to shallow groundwater" Authors: J. Pankow (OGI), N. Thomson (Waterloo), R. Johnson (OGI), A. Baehr (USGS), and J. Zogorski (USGS). Reference: Environ. Sci. Technol., 1997, 31(10): 2821-2828. Abstract and electronic versions: ES&T.

  • Volatilation of MTBE from Surface Waters
    Authors: J. Pankow (OGI), R. Rathbun (USGS), and J. Zogorski (USGS). Title: "Calculated volatilization rates of fuel oxygenate compounds and other gasoline-related compounds from rivers and streams". Reference: Chemosphere, 1996, 33(5): 921-937.

  • Tracer Injection Test at Port Hueneme with Perdeuterated MTBE
    Investigators: R. Johnson (OGI), Illa Amerson-Treat (OGI). Sponsor: American Petroluem Institute.

  • Natural Attention (In Situ Biodegradation) of MTBE
    Investigators: C. Church (OGI), P. Tratnyek (OGI). Sponsors: USGS (Toxic Substances Hydrology Program) and EPA (STAR Graduate Fellowship Program. Results to date: Part I, Pathways (PDF), Part II, Kinetics (PDF).

  • Fate of TBF (t-Butyl Formate)
    Title: "Hydrolysis of tert-Butyl Formate: Kinetics, Products, and Implications for the Environmental Fate of Methyl tert-Butyl Ether." Authors: C. Church (OGI), J. Pankow (OGI), P. Tratnyek (OGI). Reference: Environ. Toxicol. Chem., 1999, 18(12): 2789-2796. Electronic Version: As PDF from ET&C website.

  • Remediation and Treatment

    • Biodegradation of MTBE with a Pure Culture for Bioaugmentation.
      Investigators: C. Church (OGI), P. Tratnyek (OGI), K. Scow (UC-Davis)
      Results to date: PDF of an Extended Abstract.

    • Air Sparging of Gasoline spilled in a 3D Physical Model.
      Investigators: R. Johnson (OGI), Illa Amerson-Treat (OGI)
      Sponsors: American Petroleum Institute

    • Air Sparging of Gasoline in a 2D Physical Model.
      Investigators: C. Gilbert (OGI), R. Johnson (OGI)
      Sponsors: Chevron.

Links to Other Websites on MTBE

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